Pacific Update 2016 -  School of Economics

2016 Pacific Update Conference

“Inclusive growth for enhanced resilience”

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre,  and  The  University of the South Pacific (USP)  are  pleased  to  announce  that  the 2016 Pacific Update Conference was held on July 18-19, 2016, at The  University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji.

The Pacific Update Conference is the premier forum for discussing important issues of public policy in the Pacific. This annual event gathers policymakers, academics and researchers, business people, and development practitioners to present and discuss economic, political, and social developments in the region. Perspectives from multiple disciplines are encouraged.

Sessions of the two day Conference will be oriented around policy issues of pressing importance to countries in the Pacific region.  For example: 

  • Improving business environments in the region  
  • Assessing the costs of non-communicable diseases and designing responses 
  • Developments in migration and remittance flows and their socioeconomic effects 
  • Enhancing the benefits of new or enhanced internet connectivity   
  • Efforts to promote export supply chain and niche product market development   
  • Linking tourism and agricultural development  
  • Managing and sustaining fishing license fees and windfall revenues 
  • Pacific trust fund developments and performance  
  • Raising resilience to disasters and climate change 

2016 Pacific Update Conference - Abstracts

Click here to download the Abstracts from session presentations

2016 Pacific Update Conference - Bios of Session Chairs and Presenters

Click here to download the Bios of Session Chairs and Presenters

2016 Pacific Update Conference Final Programme

Click here to download the Final Programme

Click on the links below to follow the presentations from the Conference programme


Plenary Session 1: Welcoming Addresses and Opening Ceremony

          Vijay Naidu, Acting Dean of Faculty of Business and Economics, USP 

          Rajesh Chandra, Vice Chancellor and President, USP

          Margaret Twomey, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji

          Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Fiji

Plenary Session 2: Regional Overview 

Regional Economic Overview

Emma Veve, Director, Asian Development Bank (ADB)


Plenary Session 3: Fiji Outlook and Launch of the Fiji Country Diagnostics Study 

Bambang Susantono, Vice President for Knowledge Management, ADB

Barry Whiteside,  Governor, Reserve Bank of Fiji

Edimon Ginting,  Director, ADB


Parallel Session 1a: State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Reform 

Chair: Wawan Juswanto, Senior Economist, ADBI

Finding Balance 2016: Benchmarking SOE Performance in Island Economies 

Chris Russell, SOE & Governance Expert, Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) 

Reforming The Marshalls Energy Company

David Paul, Senator, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)

Political Commitment and Governance: Two Drivers of SOE Reform in Tonga

Sione  ‘Akau’ola, CEO for Public Enterprises, Ministry of Public Enterprises, Tonga

Kiribati SOE Reform Experience

Kietau Tabwebweiti, National SOE Reform Specialist, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Kiribati


Parallel Session 1b: Tourism and Agricultural Development 

Chair: Roland Rajah, Country Economist for Vanuatu, ADB

The Political Economy of Tourism Development in the South Pacific

Marcus Stephenson, Head of School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, USP 

Agriculture and Tourism: Leveraging the Synergies for Growth 

Tim Martyn, Policy Officer, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation 

Sub-regional Office in the Pacific and Vili Caniogo, Policy Adviser (Agriculture),  

Land Resources Division, The Pacific Community (SPC)

Coffee Supply Chain Development and Tourism  in Timor-Leste

David Freedman, Country Economist for Timor-Leste, ADB 

Agritourism and Policy for Linking Tourism and Agricultural Development

Chetan Shah, Senior Lecturer, Fiji National University  (FNU)


Parallel Session 1c: Disaster Response and Resilience

Chair: Rebecca McNaught, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Consultant

The Role of Community Engagement in Building Resilience Against Disasters 

Eci K. Nabalarua, Dean of College of Humanities and Education, FNU

Climate Vulnerability, Tenure Security, and Resettlement Priorities in Lami Town, Fiji 

Dan Orcherton, Director, Centre for Sustainable Technology & Development, FNU

How Resilient are Poor Households in the Low‐lying Islands of Tuvalu to Disasters?

Tauisi Taupo,  PhD Candidate, Victoria University of Wellington


Parallel Session 2a: Climate Change and Disaster Response Financing 

Chair: Dan Orcherton, Director, Centre for Sustainable Technology & Development, FNU

Regional Approaches to Disaster Risk Financing in the Pacific 

Johannes Wolff, Economist (Public Finance), ADB 

Aid for Adaptation to Climate Change in Oceania 

Carola Betzold, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Antwerp 

The Practicability and Applicability of Payment for Ecosystem Services in the Protection of Samoa’s Watershed Areas 

Susana Taua’a, Head of Department of Social Sciences, National University of Samoa 

Financing for Climate Change Adaptation in Small Island Developing States

Stacy-ann Robinson, Ph.D. Scholar (Climate Change Adaptation), Australian National University (ANU) 

Parallel Session 2b: Private Sector Development

Chair: Chris Russell, Advisor, PSDI 

‘Through the Looking Glass’ on RMI’s Private Sector Development 

Ellen Milne, President, Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce 

Innovation and the Private Sector in Fiji

Malcolm Bossley, Country Team Coordinator for Fiji, Market Development Facility

Building Better Government-Private Sector Policy Dialogue in Vanuatu 

Anita Jowitt, Employer Representative, Vanuatu Tripartite Labor Advisory Council

Managing ‘Wantok System’ Influence: Improving Solomon Islands’ Business Climate

Emmanuel Joseph Iyabora, Lecturer, University of Fiji


Parallel Session 2c: Managing Resource Rich Economies

Chair: Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan, Resident Representative for Pacific Islands, IMF

Resource Management and Economic Diversification in Timor-Leste 

Filipe Nery Bernardo, Acting Coordinator, Petroleum Fund Administration Unit, Ministry of Finance, Timor-Leste

Survey of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Economy 

Win Nicholas and Nelson Atip, Lecturers, University of PNG 

Mitigating the Downside of PNG’s Natural Resource Dependency 

Jonathan Pryke, Research Fellow, Lowy Institute

Clusters as a Tool for Economic Growth: The PNG Cluster Initiative

Paula Norris, International Development Consultant 


Plenary Session 4: Launch of ANU-World Bank Pacific Labor Mobility Study  

Stephen Howes, Director of the Development Policy Centre (DPC), ANU

Richard Curtain, Fellow, DPC, ANU

Jesse Doyle, Labor Migration Specialist, World Bank

Matthew Dornan, Deputy Director, DPC, ANU


Plenary Session 5: Renewable Energy  

Chair: Peter Johnston, Director, Environmental & Energy Consultants, Ltd

How to Build Institutional Capacity for Green Energy 

Bokhwan Yu, Deputy Dean, ADBI

Path to 100% Renewable Energy Coverage in Rarotonga. Cook Islands 

Dallas Young, Commercial Manager, Rarotonga Electricity Authority, Cook Islands

Challenges with Moving to Higher Renewable Energy Penetration in Tuvalu

Mafalu Lotolua, General Manager, Tuvalu Electricity Corporation

Renewable Energy Update in Vanuatu 

Anthony Garae, Director of the Dept. of Energy, Ministry of Climate Change, Vanuatu


Day 2

Parallel Session 3a: Labor Mobility and Migration 

Chair: Sunil Kumar, Senior Lecturer, USP

Sustainable Development Needed in the FSM to Prevent Migration 

Gerson Jackson, Former Ambassador to Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

Socioeconomic Effects of Migration and Remittance Flows Among FSM Migrants

Michael J. Levin, Independent Consultant

The Hidden Crime of Human Trafficking in the Pacific Islands Region 

Patricia J. Kailola, A/CEO, Pacific Dialogue Limited 

The Effectiveness of Australia and New Zealand’s Seasonal Workers Schemes in Promoting Sustainable Economic Development in the Pacific 

Macnos Mutano, Junior Economic Affairs Officer, Office of the Chief Trade Adviser 


Parallel Session 3b: Roads and Transport Infrastructure 

Chair: Tess Newton Cain,  Principal, TNC Pacific Consulting

Economic Spillovers of Infrastructure Spending (via videocon)

Naoyuki Yoshino, Dean, Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)

The Impact of Road Infrastructure Development on Household Welfare in PNG

Christopher Edmonds, Senior Economist, ADB

Road Maintenance and Decentralization: The Case of PNG

Matthew Dornan, Deputy-Director, DPC, ANU

Improving PWD Accessibility in Transport Infrastructure in the Pacific Islands 

Setareki Macanawai, CEO, Pacific Disability Forum


Parallel Session 3c: Training the Next Generation of


Chair: Josh Utoikamanu, Consultant and Former Director, Pacific Island Center for Public Administration (PICPA)

Sustainable Value Creation though Networking

Lekshmi N. Pillai, Executive Dean, School of Business & Public Policy, University of PNG

Challenges Faced by Future Entrepreneurs in Timor-Leste

Fernando Baptista Anuno,  Dean of Faculty of Economics and Management, Timor-Leste National University (UNTL)

Supporting Developmental Leadership Among Youth in the Pacific

Peni Tawake, Program Officer, Pacific Leadership Program and Tarusila Bradburgh,  Secretariat Coordinator, Pacific Youth Council


Parallel Session 4a: Governance

Chair: Matthew Dornan, Deputy Director, DPC, ANU

Where did our Renaissance Go? Challenges facing the Melanesian Spearhead Group

Tess Newton Cain, Principal, TNC Pacific Consulting

Efficiency and Fairness in Government Expenditure

Wawan Juswanto, Senior Economist, ADBI

Public Sector Asset Management in the Pacific Islands 

Josh Utoikamanu, Consultant and Former Director, PICPA


Parallel Session 4b: Climate Change Adaptation and Education

Chair: Taniela Faletau, Safeguards Officer, ADB 

Information Needs for Climate Change Adaptation among Farmers in Fiji

Hirdesh K. Sachan,  Head of Department of Crop Production, FNU

Quality Assured TVET Qualifications in Resilience for the Pacific Islands Region

Tess Martin, Senior Lecturer, USP 

Building Future Climate Leaders: Leadership & Communication Training for COP21

Morgan Wairiu, Deputy Director, Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, USP. 

Policy Initiatives to Promote Climate Smart Production Systems

Shipra Shah, Head of Department of Forestry,  FNU 


Parallel Session 4c: Regional Trade and Export Competitiveness 

Chair: Manoj Pandey, Lecturer, DPC, ANU

Update on Bilateralism and Development: Emerging Trade Patterns in the Pacific

Veniana Qalo, Trade Policy Adviser, Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS)

Marginalization Postponed? Trade Negotiations in the Pacific Islands

Wesley Morgan, Lecturer, USP

Evolving Trade and Economic Linkages between the Pacific and Asia

Benjamin Radoc, Advisor, ADB


Parallel Session 5a: Fisheries 

Chair: Ben Graham, Senior Evaluation Specialist, ADB

Community-based Approaches to Fisheries Management in Kiribati

Moses Amos, Director, Division of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Marine Ecosystems, SPC

Netting Billions: A Global Valuation of Tuna 

Quentin Hanich, Fisheries Governance Program Leader, Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security 

Rising Fisheries License Revenues in the Pacific

Maria Carina Tinio, Associate Economics and Statistics Analyst, ADB


Parallel Session 5b: Labor Market Development and Remittances

Chair: Stephen Howes, Director of DPC, ANU

Alternative Perspectives on Labor Market Development in the Pacific

Andrew Parker, Principal Social Sector Economist, ADB 

The Impact of Aid and Remittances: Testing the Dutch Disease Hypothesis on Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu

T.K. Jayaraman, Professor, FNU 

Labor Market Constraints and Challenges in Fiji

Sunil Kumar, Senior Lecturer, USP 

Remittances: De-risking and Its Impact on Pacific Island Forum Countries

Raymond Prasad, Economic Advisers, PIFS


Parallel Session 5c: Sovereign Wealth and Public Trust Funds

Chair: Ellen Milne, President, Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce

Trust Funds in the Pacific: Update on Operations and Performance 

Christopher Edmonds, Senior Economist, ADB 

The Status and Challenges of Trust Fund Management Facing the North Pacific 

Gerard Cruz, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Asia Pacific Assoc. for Fiduciary Studies

Raising Investment Governance in the Pacific to Global Standards  

Ross Fowler, Chief Executive Officer, fi360 Pacific

The New Nauru Trust Fund

Roland Rajah, Nauru Country Economist, ADB


Parallel Session 6a: Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Chair: Andrew Parker, Principal Social Sector Economist, ADB

Role of ICT in Development

Rajesh Chandra, Vice Chancellor and President, USP

Enhancing ICT in the Pacific: Becoming #connected

Emma Veve, Director, ADB 

Palau Telecomm Landscape and the Current Fiber Optic Project

Rhinehart Silas, Chairman, Palau National Telecommunications Commission 

Timor-Leste ‘s Unique Experience in Reforming the Telecommunication Sector 

Inacio Moreira, Vice Minister, Public Works, Transport, & Communication, Timor-Leste


Parallel Session 6b: Developments and Prospects in Fiji

Chair: Jonathan Pryke, Research Fellow, Lowy Institute

Remittances and Household Consumption Behavior: Findings from Fiji 

Rukmani Gounder, Professor, Massey University

Fiji’s Macro-Economy in the Short to Medium Term 

Rup Singh, Senior Lecturer, USP

Exploring the Disparity in SME Market Offerings in Fiji

Asaeli T. Tuibeqa, Development Manager, FNU


Parallel Session 6c: Health and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

Chair: Rosalina Sa’aga-Banuve, Program Director, Fiji Health Sector Support Program (DFAT Australia)

Outcomes of the Pacific NCD Summit 

Paula Vivili, Director of Public Health Division, SPC 

A Systematic Review of Economic Analyses of Preventive Interventions for NCDs 

Masoud Mohammadnezhad, Associate Professor, FNU 

A Policy Framework to Address NCDs and Food Security in the Pacific

Ravi Ram, Independent Health Evaluation Consultant and Former Principal Advisor, SPC

A Snapshot of Disease Based Costing from Fiji Health Accounts

Wayne Irava, Associate Professor, FNU and Idrish Khan, National Health Accounts Coordinator, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Fiji


Plenary Session 6: Closing Ceremony

Closing Address

Andie Fong Toy, Deputy Secretary General for Economic Governance and Security Programme, PIFS

Closing Statements from Co-sponsors

Emma Veve, Director, ADB 

Bokhwan Yu, Deputy Dean, ADBI

Stephen Howes, Director, DPC, ANU

Rajesh Chandra, Vice Chancellor and President, USP

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